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Chilean Rights Groups Applaud Demise Of Government-Backed 'Anti-Protest' Bill

ISSN:1060-4189
LADB Article ID: 79195
Category/Department: Chile
Date: 2014-01-24
By: Benjamin Witte-Lebhar

Two days after losing last month’s presidential runoff, the Chilean right suffered a second stinging defeat, this time in the lower house of Congress, the Cámara de Diputados, which voted Dec. 17 to reject a controversial law-and-order bill known popularly as the Ley Hinzpeter. The bill—a key item in President Sebastián Piñera’s legislative agenda—was first presented in late 2011 by then Interior Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter (now minister of defense). It was designed to give authorities added leverage in clamping down on street demonstrations. The bill’s demise (the Cámara voted 51-43 against it) added insult to injury for Piñera’s conservative Alianza coalition, whose faint hopes of retaining the presidency had been dashed less than 48 hours earlier by the dismal Election Day performance of its candidate, Evelyn Matthei, who earned less than 38% of the vote in the Dec. 15 runoff

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